The Real Reason Why Sports Makes You Happy

football happyAny type of sport is one hell of an exercise. It’s a total workout not just of the physical body but the mind too. But if there’s one thing that all this adrenaline and sweat can definitely bring to the table, that’s happiness. Yes, sports make people happy and we don’t mean merely watching a game and seeing your favorite team win.

According to science, the reason behind the flood of feel good emotions has a lot to do with biology. As we play a sport and exercise, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine which is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness.

Additionally, sports enable the body to become acquainted with stress. These games whether played casually or competitively involves a combination of bodily movements, tactics and problem solving skills. These create an environment that involves low-level stress characterized by a higher heart rate, a burst of hormonal changes and shots of adrenaline. By subjecting oneself to these, the body gets more acquainted with it thereby helping one become stronger and better at handling the stress over time to a point where it’s barely even felt. Think about this as something like a shot of vaccine.

It makes us happy because it increases our confidence. We can credit sports for two reasons here. First, because it is a workout per se, the body develops. One develops stronger bones and leaner muscles. These alone can improve one’s physical. But more than that, playing a game can boost one’s self-assurance too. It takes just as much mental prowess to play sports. Completing a game regardless of winning is very fulfilling and satisfying. Plus, one learns a lot about oneself from talents to how one is able to manage stress to thinking patterns and decision making capabilities.

Experts also suggest that sports make people happier simply because they ease anxiety. Although not a replacement for therapy, it helps release frustrations, emotional outbursts, worries and anger. People who have suffered from anxiety can consider sports as a healthy outlet to help relieve tension.

Last but not the least, it makes us healthy. As the adage goes, health is wealth. Don’t a lot of problems arise when our bodies are below par? Plus, the healthier we are the more capable we become of achieving certain goals and that makes us happy.

Now, what sport are you planning to play? Can we join in?

What the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust is All About

tony-bloom-foundation-lindaWith its headquarters in London, the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust has been one of the frontrunners in fighting poverty across the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and the developing countries of Asia and Africa.

Founded by Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club chairman and renowned business magnate and investor, the charity began in 2011 with five trustees: the couple Tony and Linda Bloom, Marcelle Lester, Adam Franks and Marc Sugarman.

Currently known as the “Tony Bloom Foundation”, it supports causes, projects and organizations that focus on the advancement of health, life preservation, education and training, livelihood and employment, disability assistance, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide, economic and community development and other general and charitable purposes. This is done by creating advocacies and advice to spread awareness about the said issues and by supporting and offering grants to like institutions and projects.

The charity also gives special importance to efforts that focus on children, adolescents, victims of war and abuse and minority groups. This is clearly stated and manifested in its official charitable objects as follows: “The prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. To promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable under the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.”

Majority of the foundation’s resources come from voluntary pledges and donations with a percentage coming from the fruits of carefully chosen investments. As of March 31, 2015, the Bloom Foundation continues to be acknowledged as a registered charity in England and Wales by the UK government. It has reported a total of a £3.1 million worth of income from and investments and £1.9 million worth of spending on charitable activities, governance and investment management. This translates to spending of around 61% on charitable activities and 1% on governance and income generation (operational expenses). The remaining 38% was retained for future charitable grants and efforts.

Today, the Tony Bloom Foundation continues to fight and work for the same causes but with a more passionate drive and a bigger family to help them in their battle against poverty.

What You’d See in Tony Bloom’s Resume

tony-bloom-brightonIf we were to write Tony Bloom’s resume, it’ll probably take a considerable amount of time and not to mention papers. Known as the ultimate slashie, a term millenials would often use to denote someone with dual work or careers, Tony is a man of many things. But what exactly would one expect to see in his resume granted that he does write one today?

  1. Businessman – Following his graduation at the Manchester University with a degree in mathematics, Tony worked as an options trader for accounting firm Earnest and Young. Even then, he had always gravitated towards entrepreneurship finding himself considering investments here and there. Eventually, he jumped ship and gone into business from where much of his wealth thrives. In the year 2000, he became one of the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C.’s major investors and stockholders to both grow his portfolio and likewise nourish his love of the sport and the club.
  2. Philanthropist – More than just profits and business, Tony also works and strives for various causes. Two of his biggest philanthropic works would have to be the Bloom Foundation and the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis foundation. The former was established back in 2011 and aims to prevent and/or relieve poverty in Europe and the developing countries of Asia and Africa. It focuses on areas of education, livelihood, famine relief, community development and sustainable living. The latter was a joint effort spearheaded by his wife Linda to help patients with Multiple Sclerosis make better informed decisions and help improve their lifestyle and condition.
  3. Football Club Chairman – Tony Bloom’s association with the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. started at a young age. He was born to the Blooms who were avid fans of the sport and the club both emotionally and financially. His grandfather Harry was vice-chair in the 1970s while his uncle Ray was part of the board during the 80s. As mentioned earlier, he became one of its investors in 2000 and by 2009, he bought out majority share and proceeded to succeed Harry Dick Knight as its chairman. He then spearheaded and helped financially construct the American Express Community Stadium (Amex), previously the Falmer Stadium, thus ending the club’s 12 year stint without a home. For good measure, he also helped build the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, a complete training facility for athletes. Both opened in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

Tony Bloom’s Charitable Causes

Brighton and Hove Albion F.C.’s current and esteemed chairman, tony-bloom-charitable-trustTony Bloom, has more to him than just his business and football accomplishments. The man has given quite a lot of time and attention to various charitable causes and endeavors two of which focus on poverty and multiple sclerosis.

In 2011, he built the then called “Tony Bloom Charitable Trust” and now the “Bloom Foundation” together with four other trustees: his wife Linda Bloom, Marc Sugarman, Adam Franks and Marcelle Lester.

The foundation supports activities, causes and organizations that support health, education and training, livelihood and employment, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide and community development to name a few. Its main goal is to finally minimize if not eliminate poverty and its effects. In fact, its charitable objects state:

“The prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. To promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable under the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.”

Tony Bloom is likewise a supporter and trustee to another organization called OMS or the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation which was set up by his wife Linda.

About fifteen or so years ago, Linda was diagnosed with the debilitating disease that left her unable to do so much as lift a pen or get up from a couch. Multiple Sclerosis is a condition that targets the central nervous system disrupting the flow of information between it and the other parts of the body causing a number of symptoms that are often associated with incapacity. To name some we have vision or blindness problems, muscle spasms, numbness, paralysis, vertigo, memory issues, depression, bladder and speaking troubles to name some.

OMS focuses on helping patients make informed decisions and change their lifestyles to better their condition and fight the symptoms and effects of MS, which up until this day has no definite cause or cure.

Tony Bloom has supported both the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and the Bloom Foundation for years now which made him earn the respect of many, football fanatic or not.

A List of Fun Football Trivia

Liverpool v Debrecen, UEFA Champions League 2009Football has risen to be the most loved and celebrated sport all over the world. Fans travel far and wide to witness the world cup and enthusiasts have devoted a lot of invested time and passion to it. Surely, it has accumulated a lot of interesting bits and bobs throughout its run in history. Care to find out what they are? Here take a look!

  • A traditional football has 32 panels which represents each of the countries in Europe where its initial craze began. The continent is no doubt the biggest and most avid out of the others about the sport. It’s also slightly oval in shape and the pattern has to be credited for the illusion of a perfect sphere.
  • Although considered to be one of the biggest and most passionate football nations, the United Kingdom actually has a different national sport and that’s cricket. Surprised?
  • Early versions of the ball were made of an inflated pig bladder which was later on put inside a leather cover or case. Modern versions are now made of rubber.
  • England’s reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II would often dress in disguise during her teenage years so she can participate in pickup up soccer matches near the Buckingham Palace.
  • English professional footballer Lee Todd received the fastest red card in history at 2 seconds into the match. This was after he cursed about how loud the whistle was at the start of the game.
  • FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer, has more member countries than the UN. FIFA has 211 while the UN has 193.
  • Football is the most physical intensive of all ball sports as an average player runs for at least forty eight kilometers during an average game. That’s quite a workout!
  • The game between AS Adema and SO I’Emyrne in Antananarivo, Madagascar on October 31, 2002 holds the world record for the highest score in a game. AS Adema scored a whopping 149 goals with SO I’Emyrne at a nil.
  • The very first match to be televised was that of a specially-arranged friendly game between Arsenal and Arsenal Reserves on the 16th September in 1937.

Which among the above fun facts blew your mind the most? Did we miss any of your favorite fun facts.

The United Kingdom’s Racket Sports

Although the United Kingdom is well known for its ardent support and vigor for football, it doesn’t fall short of racket sports too. Don’t believe us? Here, take a look at the UK’s most prominent racket sports of all time!

  1. TENNIS

Tennis is a game played on a rectangular court by two players or two pairs of players, who use racket strung with cord to hit a hollow rubber ball covered in felt back and forth over a net stretched across a marked-out court. The objective of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opposing player or team is not able to give a valid return. The player with the most sets won wins.

Popular British tennis players include Andy Murray, Fred Perry, Tim Henman, Sue Barker, Greg Rusedski and Roger Taylor.

  1. BADMINTON

Badminton is similar in a way that it is played on a rectangular court and requires striking the shuttlecock, a small rounded piece of cork or rubber attached to a cone of feathers, back and forth across a high net. It has had a long history in the United Kingdom with the Badminton Association of England established as early as 1893.

Nathan Robertson, Chris Adcock, Imogen Bankier, Sarah Walker, Gabrielle Adcock and Heather Olver are only some of the more prominent figures in the sport.

  1. TABLE TENNIS

Table tennis is not too far off from its big sister. Played using paddles and a light hollow ball instead of a racket and a felt covered rubber ball, it is played in a smaller court as its name suggests. The table which serves as the court measures 2.5 feet high, 9 feet long and 5 feet wide. The game is played by two players or two pairs. In other places it is called ping pong or wiff waff.

Prominent figures in table tennis in the UK include Tin-Tin Ho, Sky Andrew, Margaret Osborne, Desmond Douglas and Vera Thomas among others.

  1. SQUASH

squashSquash is a game for two (singles) or four (doubles) participants that is played in an enclosed four wall court and uses long handled rackets and a small hollow rubber ball that may be hit off any of the walls.

The United Kingdom boast quite a number of successful squash players including Nick Matthew, Alison Waters, Lee Beachill, Laura Massaro and Cassie Jackman to name a few.

Ever Heard of the Name Tony Bloom

Does the name Tony Bloom ring a bell? If it does then we’re not surprised. This man has made quite a name for himself and not just in one category but three. Yes, you’ve read that right and if you want to get to know more about the man then we urge you to read on.

  • Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

Born to a family of Blooms who were not only football fanatics but were also massive supporters of the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club aka Seagulls, Tony was raised to love the game, the sport and the club. His frequent trips to the Goldstone Ground to watch the matches with his family are proof of that.

During the 1970s, his grandpa Harry was vice-chairman to Mike Bamber during the Seagull’s historic rise from the old Third Division to the First Division of the Football League. His uncle Ray on the other hand became one of its directors during the 1980s.

In 2000, Tony himself became a major investor to the club. As its benefactor, he helped personally finance the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre and the American Express Community Stadium, the current home of the Seagulls.

By 2009, he became its chairman after having succeeded Harry Dick Knight who held the post since 1997.

In 2011, construction of the American Express Community Stadium was completed and its doors were opened to the public. This was also the case for the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened in 2014.

  • Brighton’s Most Outstanding

Tony’s contributions to football and to the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. were not left unnoticed. He has accomplished so much even before he sat as chairman. This prompted him to be voted and awarded with the Brightonian of the Year award in 2009.

  • Philanthropy and Charitable Works

As a means to battle poverty in developing countries like Asia and Africa, Tony together with his wife Linda and three other trustees Adam Franks, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester founded the “Tony Bloom Charitable Trust”.

The foundation awards grants to various causes and organizations that battle the effects of poverty and help minimize its effects and ward off its causes. Among its charitable activities involve those that fall under training and education, employment, economic and community development, health advancement, health improvement, disability, overseas aid, famine relief and life saving efforts among others.

How Football and Tony Bloom Came to Be

tony bloom footballWhen we talk about sports, people would often denote individuals as athletes. But behind every successful team is more than just its coaches and players. In football for example, we have the team and the people behind the athletes. In the case of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., they have Tony Bloom, its esteemed chairman, a businessman, investor and well-known philanthropist.

It was only seven years ago when Anthony Grant ‘Tony’ Bloom sat as the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman after succeeding Harry Dick Knight who held the post from 1997 to 2009. Known for his low profile as the club’s chairman, Tony may seem like somewhat timid in the field but the noise he has made was because he walked rather than talked.

Nine years before he even sat as its chairman, Tony was already an investor, stockholder and benefactor to the club. He has helped personally finance two of its major projects which until now have earned him the praises not only of Brightonians but also of aficionados of the sport.

In December of 2008, construction of the £93 million American Express Community Stadium, formerly the Falmer’s Stadium, began. This 30,750 sitting capacity structure is the home of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. It officially opened on the 31st of July in 2011.

Moreover, he further helped finance the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened in 2014. This is a training center and ground for athletes, hopefuls, professionals and similar participants of the sport.

What’s interesting here is that Tony Bloom is already the third generation in his family to have served for the same causes of the sport. About forty years ago and in the same decade as his birth, Tony’s grandfather Harry Bloom who was an established hotel owner as well as a motor trader became vice-president of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. The following decade, his uncle Ray served as its director. Apparently, even the love and service for sports are hereditary!

Because of his contributions, among which the aforementioned constructions, he became the recipient of the “Outstanding Brightonian of the Year Award” in the same year that he was seated as the Seagulls’ chairman.

Apart from his football and entrepreneurial ventures, Tony Bloom also supports two causes namely the “Bloom Foundation” and the “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis”, two charities that tackle significant issues today: poverty and health respectively.

Cricket: The UK’s National Sport

cricketWhat is the United Kingdom’s national sport? Many people would commit the mistake by screaming ‘football’ and with utter vigor no less! The correct answer would be cricket. Care to know more about it? If you do then read on.

Cricket as a sport has nothing to do with the insect but rather its etymology comes from the Old English term ‘cricc’ or ‘cryce’ which translates to a crutch or staff. Certain accounts suggest that it has since been present since the 16th century where it was first a game played amongst children. Eventually it became an inter-village and inter-parish activity among adults as well. It was not until the 18th century when the game underwent some serious development and various rules and regulations have been set some of which we can still observe up until today.

It is defined to be an outdoor sport played chiefly in England and Commonwealth countries by two teams of 11 players using a flat bat, a small hard ball, and wickets. To score, a player bats the ball and runs, while the defenders can get a player out by bowling and hitting the wicket, catching a hit ball, or running the player out. It is one of the most popular team sports and is played in over 120 countries all over the world with only football and basketball exceeding it in popularity.

The ball here is pretty much the same size of a baseball and cannot be larger than 9 inches in circumference with a weight of between 156 and 163 grams. It is made up of alternating layers of cork and wool and is then covered by either red or white leather. The bat on the other hand is flat and elongated, often made of willow, which is fitted with a cane handle that comes with a rubber grip. It measures 38 inches long and 4.5 inches wide. Cricket is played in grassy, large circular areas between 114 and 160 meters in diameter.

The sport is governed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). It represents the national bodies from over 70 countries. The council visits member countries maintains the code of conduct, qualifies umpires, promotes the game worldwide, and organizes the World Cricket Cup which is to be held every four years starting in 1975. The IWCC or International Women’s Cricket Council is a similar governing body and since 1973 has been hosting world championships every four years.

The Link Between Tony Bloom and Football

Tony BloomTony Bloom. Does the name ring a bell? If it does then we’re not surprised. This man has made a name for himself during the past couple of years so he’s bound to come up somewhere. Perhaps one of, if not the most, noteworthy things about him would have to be football.

Does he play in the World Cup then? No but his contributions to the sport are pretty much groundbreaking and extremely remarkable.

During the 1970s in the English seaside resort town of Brighton, Anthony Grant, nicknamed Tony, was born to a family of football aficionados and fanatics. As a child, he would often attend matches at the Goldstone Ground together with his brother, father and grandpa.

In the same decade, his grandfather Harry who was a well-known hotel owner and motor trader became vice chairman of the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (also called the “Albions” or the “Seagulls”) with Mike Bamber as chairman. This was a groundbreaking time as the club rose from the old Third Division to the First Division of the Football League. In the 1980s his uncle Ray served as director.

By the year 2000, Tony himself has supported the sport and the club by becoming one of its major stockholders and investors. He even personally financed the construction of two groundbreaking structures namely the American Express Community Stadium aka the Amex which serves as the home of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. and the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. The two have long since opened their doors back in 2011 and 2014 respectively. These two, Tony helped finance from his personal pocket. Talk about fan devotion!

And as fate would have it, Tony Bloom like his grandpa Harry and uncle Ray served a very important post as the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman officially as of May 2009 and up to the present. He succeeded the 12 year post held previously by Harry Dick Knight.

Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom unlike his predecessors appears to be more timid in comparison. Known to be a man of a few words, he may not come with as much long and grand speeches but he is someone who definitely can walk the talk. All his achievements and contributions to Brighton, to the club and to the sport has earned him the respect of many which was why he was voted and awarded as “Brightonian of the Year” in 2009.